Sunday, September 29, 2013

Breishit - Big Thoughts On The Moon

I thought of something during the leining of Breishit.  It says that there were two big luminaries. Then it says there was a big one and a small one. Rashi famously says that the moon couldn't handle sharing the crown with the sun, saying, two kings can't share a crown.  So G-d made the moon smaller. It dawned on me that there's a straightforward explanation that avoids the question of why it says two were big and then one was big and one was small. Maybe they were both big but one was bigger than the other.  Rashi is, perhaps, hinting to a certain kind of psychology.  The moon felt smaller than the sun because in size it looked smaller.  But in terms of importance they were each great.  The result of feeling small was to be small. If we could learn to realize that whatever size we appear to be we are all big in terms of our significance, we will never have to feel small.

Vayeitzei In September

I was reminded today of the  Masei - destinations/travels vort and my dear friend Pinny Bulman's son's bris where I was introduced to the idea. My friend Yitz Pinkus spoke today (i guess because it was a retreat and he felt strongly about this idea and we won't all be together for Parshat VaYeitzei he said it now) about Leah's names for her first three sons were all all about how her husband didn't love her and she wished he would. Her fourth son was named for gratitude; rather than just looking to the future she stopped this time to appreciate where she was and what she'd just received. We're not told about her situation or mindset after that. My friend, the speaker, said that he likes to believe that as Leah came to appreciate what she had, Yaakov did come to love her in a way that made her feel content in that area as well.  My friend spoke about personal/universal things- how our lives are real and happening and we shouldn't mistakenly think that we are  ever  just waiting for our lives to begin and in doing so miss the life we are living. It was a beautiful talk from someone who learned to speak in an articulate and organized manner not from a course of any kind but from simply opening his heart (a lesson for me as a public speaking teacher of many years).

it reminds me a bit (somewhat of a stretch but i feel like sharing this) of what a non religious (formerly frum) exterminator told me on hoshana rabbah as he attacked my roach problem (I love that he told me that it's not me or my apartment, that it's all pretty nice and pretty well kept), I told him that my person who cleans for me would be coming on Thursday and then i told him I'd be away for Yom Tov. He questioned how she was coming and i said she has the key, comes, I trust her - maybe i trust people too much. He then told me (did i mention that he happily and joyfully took up my offer to bentch my lulav and esrog?) that based on Rav Nachman MiBreslov he thinks that what we believe becomes reality.  Rav Nachman says it's about faith and happiness. He applied it to my trust- that because i trust people fully those people become trustworthy.